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African Meatballs recipe

Easy African Meatballs

This easy version of the African Meatballs recipe is as delicious as your mama meatballs recipe. It is easy to prep and amazingly tender, flavorful, and consistently moist.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine African
Servings 6
Calories 813 kcal


For the Ground Meats

  • 1 pound ground beef - 80 - 85 % lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup bread crumbs seasoned or plain
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • ½ medium yellow or red onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic - minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon seasoning or 2 small Maggie cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt optional
  • 1 cup canola oil for frying

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 - 3 Campari, Grapevine, Roma tomatoes chopped or crushed
  • 1/2 medium yellow or white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 basil sprigs finely chopped
  • 1 tsp  chicken bouillon seasoning or 1 small Maggie cube
  • 1 15 oz - can tomato sauce
  • Salt  and pepper to taste


  • Add ground meats, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, chicken bouillon seasoning, and ground black pepper in a large bowl.
  • Using your hand, gently toss the mixture until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
  • Form the meatballs into 1 inch balls or the size of a golf ball. Set aside onto a baking sheet.

Frying Method

  • After preparing and forming the meatballs, set them aside on a baking sheet pan.
  • In a large skillet, heat enough oil (about 3/4 cup) to halfway cover the meatballs.
  • Cook the meatballs in batches and don't overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown about 3 - 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

Baking Method

  • To prepare the baking sheet pan, spray first with non-stick cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
  • After preparing and forming the meatballs, set them aside on a prepared baking sheet pan and space them evenly apart. Do not overcrowd the pan. If you have to use more than one pan, then please do.
  • Bake until cooked through in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes - 10 minutes to cook and brown the bottom, then turn each meatball and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes longer. Your meat thermometer should register 165 degrees in the center of the meatballs.

How to make the tomato sauce

  • If you have fried the meatballs, pour out some of the oil from the pan, leaving about 2 - 3 tablespoons for the sauce.
  • Saute the onions until fragrant, then add in chopped tomatoes and cook until almost completely dissolved. Add in the tomato sauce, then cook the mixture stirring from time to time for about 10-15 minutes on low to medium heat.
  • Add in remaining fresh garlic, basil, and chicken bouillon seasoning or Maggie cubes. Cook the mixture for another 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and add warm to hot water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
  • Add the cooked meatballs to the tomato sauce and gently stir well, making sure the sauce coats each meatball. Let the mixture simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve with rice, pasta, or bread.


Tips and Notes for the meatballs

  • Can you use ground turkey instead? Yes, you can but you will need to add a little bit of olive oil into the ground meat mixture for moisture. Bake the meatballs instead of frying. And adjust the seasoning as needed. Lastly, cook the turkey meatballs very gently for about 8- 10 minutes in the tomato sauce.
  • Can you grind your own meat? Of course, you can. This is a healthier option.
  • When frying the meatballs, they are cooked when they are no longer pink on the inside.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to form the meatballs if you can so they are the same size.
  • Buy 80% – 85% lean meat. The meat needs the fat for moisture.
  • For the eggs, if you think you need more than one, then add another egg. Remember that moisture is key and the egg(s) will act as the binding agent for the ground meats.
  • Don’t worry about the color of the meatballs if they are a bit darker than usual. Because we use a mixture of beef and pork, the color when fried or baked will change a bit.
  • Don’t over mix the mixture. Use your hand or spatula. I prefer using my hand as I feel that ingredients are well mixed or blended together this way.
  • Can you make the meatballs in advance? Of course! Do not add the meatballs to the sauce until you are ready. Make sure that the cooked meatballs are brought to room temperature after being in the refrigerator or freezer (freeze meatballs in a freezer bag). Add them to the simmering sauce for about 10 minutes on low heat and then serve.
  • Can you use ground beef only? Yes, the ordinary that’s what you would use. I added the ground pork for more flavoring.
  • Can you use ground pork only? I would not suggest that because of lack of moisture – the meatballs will not retain their shape.


Calories: 813kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 30gFat: 71gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 38gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 577mgPotassium: 771mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1255IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 4mg

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword African Recipes, beef meatballs, Easy recipe, meatballs, meatballs recipe, pork meatballs
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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